Friday, 13 September 2013

Gimme five

A fellow blogger sent me a challenge that asked the bloggers to list the highlights and the lowlights of the summer gone by. The whole concept took some getting into - not least because I can't comprehend that it's over, again. But I'd best admit, it is. Feels like only last week we were getting giddy with the new strawberries! And making all sorts of ambitious plans to make the most of this short season!

Autumn is slowly making its way to Spain, too. You can see it in the fog that rises from the sea, clouding the stars as the night falls. You can smell it in the winds that have changed. The riotous headiness promising endless adventures has been replaced with enigmatic silence about what's to come. Somewhere out there Snufkin (a character out of Moomin valley) raises his head, awoken by the same change in the wind and gets ready to pack his bags for his journey away from the winter. So am I. But the direction, it's different. 

The drive to the airport is excruciating. Every single time. There's no end to my tears. My chest aches as if I had an elephant sitting on it. I can practically feel my heart breaking. After almost eight years the separation just gets harder and harder to bear.

So, let's start our countdown from the low points...

1. Sad news among my friends have been dragging the mood (and smile) down quite a bit. On the other hand they have served to remind me of ho the most important things are simply too important to be taken for granted (dear me. Would you listen to how wise and Confucian I sound? Next I'll convert this blog into a sect. Three first to sign up in the comment box gets front row seats in Heaven)

2. Being away from the one person you want to be with is so. Bloody. Hard. There are so many things (and meals!) I'd want to share with him. And sometimes holidays are an event that only a French screenwriter could turn into a comedy. And even then it would only be amusing to a bunch of French people. And artsy-fartsy pseudo-intellectual art students wearing all black. (I should know. I used to be one of them)

3. My computer crashing a little while back could not have come at a worse time. Getting a new one was a nightmare. A frilly, silly little blogger had to learn (the hard way - is there any other?)  that sometimes there are other compatibility issues greater than whether or not the laptop fits in your handbag. Such as Windows operating system compatibility. As if. I've been trying to get to know my new one for some time now. Searching, installing and downloading (just writing down words like that is exhausting!) all sorts of software and programs. I'm still trying to figure out my photo editing program and feel as computer literate as a day-old banana. 

4. Work and future.Those have been a constant source of frustration and anxiety. Perhaps human nature is just hard-wired that way - you always want what you don't have? When you have a well-paid, stressful job you crave something that allows you to hold on to your sanity and life outside work. And then, when you have a stress-free, a lot less demanding job that gives you the possibility to pursue other interests you have, such as... well, blogging, you feel you've sold out and aren't even trying to realize your full potential for which you've amassed all the fancy university degrees (and student loans!). And it's pretty hard to know how seriously to look for and where to look for when there's a real chance your future awaits in another country. Somehow I should find a balance: job that comes with sufficient salary, enough responsibility, a chance to develop and still leaves room and energy for life outside it. Though... I suppose that's what we're all looking for? So, perhaps that's a project that is bound to take longer than just one summer?

5. Perhaps it's a good thing that my brain and patience still find time to be eroded by something other than my own little self-absorbed existence? Or perhaps it's just aggravating wannabe-awareness , domain of the naive and the ignorant? You choose. But as an old humanist and someone who's at least tried to work and campaign in the field of human rights, there's plenty to get pissed at in the world today. Especially the situation in Russia is something that has made me see red (all over again). Tyrant-like Putin is stripping the country of civil rights while the world watches on continuing the "Russia is a democracy" charade. What really gets to me is the treatment and marginalization of the LGBT- population. IT'S OKAY TO BE GAY, OKAY?

And from the bottom, the only way is up, right? And I mean, there have been good things and wonderful moments. Plenty of laughter (and wine) shared with friends. Many sunny days. Another win in another recipe contest. A girls' mini roadtrip. Here's a list of five of them. 

1. Holiday. No matter what, it's always, well, holiday. It was good enough to inspire Madonna, so who am I to complain? And Andalusia always has so many surprises in store. There's so much to see, experience, learn... and eat. If you can't fit into the jeans you arrived in on the way back home, you'd better look in the mirror for some answers. Provided you still fit in the mirror, that is. Seville was especially dazzling.

2. Godmotherhood. Not having kinds of my own and having missed most of my Niece's and Nephew's early years due to living somewhere else, this is the first time I have front row seats to witnessing a little human's growth and development into the person she's meant to be. It's humbling that I've been trusted with that kind of an honour. Though it's a privilege, really - getting to be part of the life of someone that wonderful, beautiful and perfect.

3. Due to logistical challenges (damn those scientists for not having mastered cloning just yet!) I had to pass a foodbloggers' get-together this summer, but I've still had the chance to meet and greet and get to know faces from behind the blogs and it has been a hoot! There was Magnum pop up store, Happy Joe- launch, Tall Ships Race, Solar Kitchen and the long-awaited dinner at Muru.

4. Day at Linnanmäki amusement park. It's a summer tradition; something you just have to do. This time the planets and my siblings' travel plans were aligned in a way that allowed us all to spend a day there together. And it was soooo much fun. I can walk without pain again. And almost all of the bruises are starting to go down, too.

5. Well, I suppose I couldn't not include this one, right? Though you all must be sick and tired of hearing my one-woman's own-horn-blowing orchestra by now, right? But it is that amazing - being nominated at the Gloria blog awards, that is. I never, ever, e v e r could have even dreamed of such an honour. So, there you go -  that's my summer all wrapped up!

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